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McCain Trumps NFL

Last year, as both parties scrambled to schedule their conventions at the best possible time, Republicans chose a week that will end Thursday, September 4. One problem overlooked in scheduling meetings: The first Thursday in September has also marked the kickoff of football season. Given the 8:30 p.m. start time of the game, John McCain's acceptance speech in St. Paul would have had to compete with an expected matchup between the Super Bowl champion New York Giants and the Washington Redskins.

To avoid a conflict, NBC and the NFL have agreed in principle to kick off the season at 7:00 p.m. in order to make sure the game is over by the time McCain speaks, the Hollywood Reporter writes today. The schedule has not been set yet, with an official announcement slated for the league's owners' meetings, which begin Monday. Networks, too, have not decided how much of the conventions they will cover, but an hour of prime time coverage has been the norm in recent cycles.

Moving a game for a convention is not unprecedented, the Reporter writes. In 2000, ABC asked the NFL to move the start time of an exhibition game in order to accommodate the Democratic National Convention. This year, it was not the Republican National Committee that brought up the potential conflict, but the NFL itself, according to a spokesman. Good to know the league keeps its civic duty in mind when considering their schedule.